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Nominal

by Alan Harris
Nothing got
my mother's goat
for long--
she'd settle it.

I had become far too old
to be calling her Mommy
but still was
and didn't want to
but couldn't change.

One day while practicing
my trumpet in the basement
(in deference to TV watchers)
I needed her attention
and yelled a questioning
"Hey?" up to the kitchen.

Catching my copout,
she opened the door
at the top of the stairs
and announced,
voice taut,

"My name's not Hey!
If you don't want to call me
Mommy then call me Mom."

And that settled it.
I did after that.
It was easy.





From the book Just Below Now (2000)

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